This message was in my inbox this AM; felt I should reach out to the mom's in this forum to share insights. I tried to insert an article I wrote for Positive Health Magazine in 2012 but it is not the proper format and won't upload so I'll insert a link at the bottom of this message for those who want to read basic pelvic organ prolapse information, which I believe all women should have (even those who don't give birth, there are many causes of POP).
It is unbelievable in my mind that women aren't told about POP ahead of the curve; for most of us it's discovery upon diagnosis. There is no routine screening for POP, diagnostic practitioners are not educated very well about POP, and no one talks about it out loud. That will all change very soon; we bang the drum daily to generate awareness while we provide guidance and support for women who are navigating the condition which impacts women physically, emotionally, socially, sexually, as well as impacts their fitness regimens and sometimes their employment. How can women lift their children if they have POP? How can they engage in intimacy if they have pain or anxiety? How can they carry on day to day acting like nothing is wrong when they feel vaginal or rectal pressure or tissues bulging from the vagina? For over 4000 years the medical community has treated POP as though it wasn't a "big deal" but it is a big deal-pelvic organ prolaspse is seldom life threatening but it is always life altering.
What is important to know is millions of women have this condition (the current statistic used is 3.3 million women in the US but research often indicates that half the female population has POP-women in all countries, not just the US). You are not alone. We stand side by side, a strong army of women growing stronger, demanding change. Our voices are getting louder. Women should be informed about POP before they get pregnant so they understand ways to modify daily activities. Women need to know how to check themselves to see if they have POP (take a hand held mirror at the end of the day and look at your vagina to see if you see tissue bulging). Women need to know Kegels and body posture are an important part of prevention and self treatment (kind of like brushing your teeth to prevent cavities). What's most important is that women know there are many treatments for POP, both surgical and non-surgical, and step one is getting an accurate diagnosis. Any doctor who does pelvic exams can diagnose POP but few know enough about it to diagnose if accurately; it is important to get advice from a specialist-a women's health physical therapist or a FPMRS urogynecologist or urologist. (The letters in front of the dr are important-these drs have specific training for POP.)
You are not alone Middlemamma, there are millions of women who feel the same way you do. You are still going through the hormone shift post-partum and need to give the tissues time to heal but should absolutely pay attention to changes. We have many young mom's in our chatroom who've felt exactly as you do. APOPS secure chatroom is specifically for women with POP, women newly diagnosed, women who never want surgery, women who want surgery but no mesh, women who've had mesh and non-mesh surgeries. Women bring their questions to APOPS chatroom and our ladies surround them with support and information. (All asking to join are screened b/4 they are let in, we continually focus on keeping the environment positive and uplifting but educational and supportive.)
For POP basic info, go to http://www.pelvicorganprolapsesuppor...help-and-hope/
. There's lot of other info on the APOPS website too, library pages have articles I've written and articles by healthcare practitioners. The Youtube link on the Home page will take you to my video page where I've posted about 40 short videos on different aspects of POP. I hope this helps! I do need to share that I can not engage in regular communication on this chatspace because APOPS duties are extremely time consuming-we are working hard to make change in the medical community and research, and global commitments keep me very busy-so many things must be addressed to change the way the world looks at POP. We welcome women with open arms who are in need of POP support and think this mothering forum serves a wonderful purpose-providing guidance and support to women who bring life to the planet in the most natural way possible. Moms are the superstars of the planet!
My heart goes out to each and every one of you!
Sherrie Palm, Founder/Executive Director
Association for Pelvic Organ Prolapse Support